- Feb 1, 2017
Intel GPU Specification Comparison
Iris Xe MAX
|Memory Bus Width|
Intel 10nm SuperFin
Intel 10nm SuperFin
Ice Lake Integrated
Kaby Lake Integrated
Based heavily on the integrated graphics in Intel’s Tiger Lake-U CPU, the Xe-LP architecture GPU is a decidedly entry-level affair. None the less, it’s an important milestone for Intel: by launching their first DG1-based product, Intel has completed first step in their plans to establish themselves as a major competitor in the discrete GPU space.
Intel has not developed any kind of multi-GPU rendering technology that allows for multiple GPUs to be used together for a single graphics task (ala NVIDIA’s SLI or AMD’s CrossFire). So there is no way to combine a Tiger Lake-U iGPU with Xe MAX and double your DOTA framerate, for example. Functionally, Xe MAX is closer to a graphics co-processor – literally a second GPU in the system.
As a result, Intel isn’t seriously positioning Xe MAX as a gaming solution – in fact I’m a little hesitant to even attach the word “graphics” to Xe MAX, since Intel’s ideal use cases don’t involve traditional rendering tasks. Instead, intel is primarily pitching Xe MAX as an upgrade option for mobile content creation; an additional processor to help with video encoding and other tasks that leverage GPU-accelerated computing.
Finally, as mentioned previously, today is Xe MAX’s official launch. Intel has partnered with Acer, ASUS, and Dell for the first three laptops, most of which were revealed early by their respective manufacturers. These laptops will go on sale this month, and the fact that today’s launch was timed to align with midnight on November 1st in China offers a big hint of what to expect. Intel’s partners will be offering Xe MAX laptops in China and North America, but given China’s traditional status as the larger, more important market for entry-level hardware, don’t be too surprised if that’s where most Xe MAX laptops end up selling, and where Intel puts its significant marketing muscle.
A Word on Gaming Performance
Since Intel lacks a way to combine multiple GPUs for a single rendering/gaming task, the company is not really pushing Xe MAX as a gaming solution for obvious reasons. Nonetheless, on paper Xe MAX should be faster than Tiger Lake-U integrated graphics by around 20% thanks to the discrete adapter’s higher clockspeeds, so there are potential advantages to gaming on Xe MAX. So it’s something that Intel is making sure to support all the same.
looks like a good alternative to NV's MX series.